Fresh dispute stalls Indo-Bangla border survey

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 20:37

Shillong: A joint survey of the disputed
India-Bangladesh border along the Meghalaya stretch, that
resumed on Tuesday after three months, was stalled yet again
following differences between officials from the two sides.

Though survey officials of both sides had decided to
resume the exercise yesterday at the disputed tracts of
Muktapur and Pyrdiwah bordering Bangladesh’s Sylhet district,
differences surfaced on the mandate of the survey, officials
said.

An official said the Bangladeshi side were
refusing to recognize `adverse possession lands` (APLs) held
by India like those tracts in Muktapur and Pyrdiwah, and they
pressed for a survey of the border pillars instead.

Discussions were on between the survey officials of
both sides, but no headway has been achieved, the source said.

The joint verification of the disputed
Meghalaya-Bangladesh border began in the first week of
December last but remained suspended since December 16 due to
roadblocks posed by locals and the border guarding forces.

Miscreants armed with sharp weapons confronted the
joint team of survey officials several times after the survey
began on December 7, bringing to halt the exercise.

The Bangladeshi officials are obstructing the survey
at those stretches which are adversely held by India like
Muktapur, Lyngkhat and Pyrdiwah, the sources said, adding that
the BDR men claimed before the survey officials that the
land belonged to Bangladesh and was not disputed.

The exercise, which was mooted by the Joint Boundary
Working Group during its meeting in New Delhi in November
2009, is being conducted by survey and land records officials
of Bangladesh and Meghalaya.

In that meeting, it was decided that BDR and BSF would
provide `outside security` to the officials conducting the
survey.

The verification was mooted in 12 disputed patches
bordering Meghalaya, stretches of which are under ?adverse
possession? of either countries.

According to official records, currently there are
551.8 acres of Bangladeshi land under "adverse possession" of
India (Assam and Meghalaya) while 226.81 acres of Indian land
under adverse possession of Bangladesh.

The areas under adverse possession, 12 in Meghalaya
sector, came up when the two countries demarcated the
international boundary in the mid-1960s.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 20:37

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